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The surreal feeling of normal

Friday, February 04, 2011

So, after the storm, you get back to "normal", right? You dig out, you go back to work, you try to figure out where you left off and start in again on whatever project you suspended before the storm hit.

It feels a little surreal, this "normal" because while you might not have been the ONLY one who took a side-trip to stay home, not everybody took that side-trip. Some have kept on toiling away at their projects. Perhaps you feel a little lost or disoriented as you read the e-mails and play catch-up?

So what has THAT got to do with healthy habits, nutrition, exercise, etc... with Spark People's major thrust? Well, you all know me... everything is connected!

I'm going to use this as a binge-recovery analogy, and exercise lapse analogy, an injury recovery analogy! OK, some of you already had your heads there to begin with and maybe for you, the physical lapse/recovery thing is more natural... but it's the same kind of process.

Getting back in "gently", giving yourself time to adjust, maybe going back and reviewing the basics about the project as you've been missing for a few days. The equivalent here on Spark would be giving yourself time to catch up with your teams... not feeling you have to do EVERYTHING the first day back. Making your list and the all-important step of prioritizing: what's the most important small thing you can do to make you feel that "I'm ba-ack!" feeling?

I had a good Wednesday, getting the snow cleared and the ice melt spread. I had a good Thursday at work, although it felt more like a Monday. And look at how short the week is already! It's Friday!

I got back on the treadmill (Ariel) on both Wednesday and Thursday... four miles each. So while I'm not running outside, I'm shifting and modifying as needed, with that half marathon out there less than 3 months away now! "Less than 3"? Oh, my! ( emoticon)

Have a great heart-healthy Friday, and for that matter, February! Wearing your red?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KASEYCOFF 2/4/2011 5:52PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SHAE777 2/4/2011 2:54PM

  Wise blog! I love the attitude around here that helps me see I don't have to beat myself to a pulp every time I slip (for whatever reason) . Just restart...gently.

And I'm also wearing red!

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REJ7777 2/4/2011 2:33PM

    Have a great weekend! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 2/4/2011 1:03PM

    Wearing my red - glad you're easing back into the swing.

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ANDI571 2/4/2011 10:30AM

    I had forgotten today was wear red day. Thanks for reminding me. emoticon

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JHADZHIA 2/4/2011 10:00AM

    Great attitude! Getting right back on it! Well done! Keep up the momentum for the dreaded weekend!
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SUNNY332 2/4/2011 8:55AM

    We are home also and ready to get back to some kind of nomality - what ever that is?

Take care and have a great Friday. I am wearing my red today too.

Sunny

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GRYPHONQUEST 2/4/2011 8:48AM

    That's a great set of analogies! And I'm wearing red, today, too!

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BRADOS 2/4/2011 8:43AM

    emoticon emoticon

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BRADOS 2/4/2011 8:42AM

    emoticon emoticon

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DAISY443 2/4/2011 8:32AM

    Have a great weekend, hopefully, snow free! Hugs!

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CONCHA77 2/4/2011 8:21AM

    Happy Friday!

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MSLZZY 2/4/2011 7:54AM

    Positive attitude! And I am wearing red today! HUGS!

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The first BAD day, a test of Majority Rules

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

So, yesterday was my second weather wimp day. Today is the third in a row. Monday I did OK. Yesterday not so much. I attempted to clear off my front steps. Came back in after turning the corner into the north wind, and seeing it still streaming down.

By mid-afternoon, I caved to anxiety. I had received IM's from my son, who was on campus and feverish. He managed to slide home and call to whine at his mom. (I won't even go into the cliche about strong men when they fall victim to the flu, folks, I'm still his mom, OK?)

I fell apart and started "looking for something" to make me feel better before he got to his house. By the time I got his call, I had even made myself home made potato chips. I don't buy the bagged kind any more, but I had potatoes and olive oil and salt. And a sharp knife to slice the potato paper thin with.

They were good, but I tossed the last few slices of the potato, thinking "what am I doing here? This isn't helping!"

Anyway, this morning, I thought I was going to power out of the driveway and go to work because this staying home is for the birds. However, the weather kind of laughed at me. The wind is strong, the wind chill minus 20, and in three sessions of 15 minutes or less each, I have only got about a third of the driveway cleared. Well, cleared down to the sheet of ice that is underneath the snow, that is. So... I called in another vacation day.

BUT... today is different. Today the sun is out, even though the wind is strong and it is cold. Today I can work on the snow. I can spread some ice melt. In short sessions. And come in and thaw in between.

Stay safe and warm, my spark friends. We all have bad days. I just can't let it become the majority of my days.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KSHAGGY 2/2/2011 9:36PM

    Way to get right back on track!

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MSLZZY 2/2/2011 7:09PM

    You always seem to figure it out and get back on track! HUGS!

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REJ7777 2/2/2011 7:05PM

    When there's that much heavy snow to shovel, you might consider hiring someone with a plow to come in and clean out your driveway. It's great exercise, but too much is too much.

You probably had fewer chips than if you had been eating them out of a bag. And it was healthier without the preservatives. It also gave you time to "come to your senses" and realize eating chips wasn't the best choice after all.

As you tell us so often, it isn't about perfection!


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ANDI571 2/2/2011 2:39PM

    Even though I hate you had to have a bad day, I am glad you wrote this blog. I just took a bath, then put the pj's right back on. I had 4 mini powdered donuts last night, and have paid with a sore tummy last night and today. I know it's the weather. I have been trying to pull myself out of it, but it is hard. I even bought knitting needles the other day. I pulled them out last night, and looked up on youtube how to knit. I now have a scarf in the making. I just want to eat, but like you I know it wouldn't help, so I just keep praying and fighting.

As I write this, the sun came out to say hello.

Hang in there, spring is on the way. emoticon

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BUGGYS 2/2/2011 1:45PM

    It took my DH and I about 3 hours to did out from the blizzard this morning and boy, we were really ready to get in the car and head straight to Florida...but, the sun came out and the winds stopped and the snow looked beautiful and we were ok...we all have days when we want to hang it up but we seem to continue on! Take it easy and work will still be waiting for you!

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DEBRITA01 2/2/2011 1:33PM

    We all have bad days now and again...majority rules says today you'll be back on track. Just be careful outside...keep working on it in increments. Is there anyone who can help you dig out?

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KALIGIRL 2/2/2011 1:06PM

    The sun makes all the difference doesn't it? Stay warm and way to go on throwing out the last chips (although they sound yummy...)

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LJCANNON 2/2/2011 12:50PM

    Yep, you are a true Sparker. You are a Mom First, so maybe you stumbled a little yesterday, but today--even though nothing has really changed in your circumstances--your Inner Spark Person is fully back in charge.

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MTULLY 2/2/2011 11:35AM

    Look on the bright side - at least you chose something made with a healthy oil and no additives! And most importantly, you didn't let it become the beginning of the end - you are back on track today. Good for you!

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MSLZZY 2/2/2011 10:59AM

    How true! And don't let the bad days get you down. Think positive! HUGS!

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DAISY443 2/2/2011 10:47AM

    Take it easy out there! It's so cold here that I don't think ice melt would work!

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SUNNY332 2/2/2011 10:40AM

    Hang in there - you at least tried so YEA for you. It is difficult.

My soldier has the flu too. Hope they both recover quickly.

Stay safe and warm today. Hopefully you can head back to work tomorrow.

Sunny

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HOT4FITNESS 2/2/2011 10:26AM

    Yeah, stay indoors if you can. I guess today is not a great day for that power walking! More indoor exercising for us. Enjoy the day and stay warm.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 2/2/2011 10:16AM

    Very wise -- we all have bad days -- we just can't allow them to be the majority.

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Confession: I'm a weather wimp

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

I'm reading my Facebook friends status proclaiming the 75 inches of snow predicted for where they are, etc. I wimped on freezing drizzle yesterday. I'm wimping again today and we're only predicted 1 - 3.5 inches of snow. Of course, that's on top of the layer of ice laid down yesterday and with high winds blowing it all around as it comes down.

Still, I feel like a bit of a wimp when it comes to weather and roads. You see, I've felt myself lose control of a vehicle on icy roads. I have been in only a couple of minor accidents in my 40 plus years behind the wheel. But when you feel your vehicle sliding and your brakes are not helping? Thanks, I'll skip that, and I'd rather not be in the vicinity while someone else learns what it feels like, either!

I do not work outside. Once I get there, it is no problem during the work day. It's just getting there and getting home. Still, I do not HAVE to be at work. Some jobs, yes, you do have to get there. Mine, I have the luxury of calling in a vacation day.

So, let me just stay out of the way, so those who must, can get where they need to go. Besides... that means I might get whatever shoveling is required done in the daylight!

Stay safe and warm, my friends!

emoticon emoticon

You can't really see the coating of ice on those branches in this shot, but it's there.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 2/1/2011 10:44PM

    I ventured out and was literally shaking @ noon - 6 police cars @ 3 different accidents. It was a skating rink.
I say hurrah for your excellent decision.

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SAMI199 2/1/2011 8:40PM

    You are not alone in the wimp dept.-I hate driving in this stuff.There's no place like home!

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MSLZZY 2/1/2011 7:02PM

    Sounds like as much fun as the year we got 94+ inches of snow! I'd stay inside, too! HUGS!

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SUNNY332 2/1/2011 6:10PM

    I am a weather whip too. We have had such mild winters until this year. Where is Al Gore when you need him?

Hugs to you, my friend.

Sunny

No Walking or biking but hope to walk on DIL's treadmill tomorrow.

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SUNNY1432 2/1/2011 4:39PM

    Safe is always better than sorry, and I tend to motivate to the side of safety. I'm a weather wimp too, I let me hubby drive if the it's icy or snowing.
You are not a weather wimp you are Winter Weather Savvy!! emoticon

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PENNYAN45 2/1/2011 12:44PM

    I'm with you. If you do not have to go in -- stay at home and be safe and sound.

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BAZINGABROOKE 2/1/2011 11:57AM

    I am a wimp too! Thankfully my school called a snow day, but if they wouldn't have, I would be sitting at home. Nothing is worth going out there unless a person needs something that majorly depends on their health (like my medication that I have to go get today. :/ ).

Stay warm! :)

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TURTLETALK 2/1/2011 11:37AM

    I am a weather wimp also but unfortunatly I am not yet retired so I did have to brave the temps and blowing snow!

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MOMOF2TONI 2/1/2011 10:24AM

    I'm a weather wimp too. I don't mind driving on snow so much, but we received sleet this morning and everything is all iced over. Glad I'm no longer working. Hubby made it to work but said he may be there a LONG time. lol....

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JHADZHIA 2/1/2011 9:16AM

    We had a brief bout of freezing rain just before the bottom dropped out of the temperatures. With -44C windchills its just plain dangerous to go out there. But my step dad goes out twice a day, no matter what, to walk the dog. I wouldn't want to go out if I didn't have to..

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BUGGYS 2/1/2011 7:39AM

    I don't really mind driving in snow...it's rainy weather at night that I can't stand! My daughter teaches at a school in a rural area and she has to go to school today and I'm worried about her driving...there are so many people out there that just drive too fast for conditions or ride up the back of your car and don't allow enough distance between cars. Alot of us will be experiencing this huge storm and I wish everyone safe driving, walking and shoveling!

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CAM2438 2/1/2011 7:05AM

    You stay safe as well. I live inFlorida and have been watching the news about all the snow and ice in the rest of the country. I really don't miss it at all. emoticon

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REJ7777 2/1/2011 7:00AM

    I'm a weather wimp too! When there's a lot of snow and ice, I only go out if I have to. Last year, we had a huge snow storm, 50 inches of snow. I got to my street, but couldn't turn because they hadn't cleaned the road out yet. I was panicked, because I wasn't sure I could make it back to the office building. Then a snow plow showed up and cleaned off the road, so I was able to drive home. Getting into the driveway with that humongous snow bank was another story! A kind neighbor shoveled my entry and got my car into the driveway. (Thank God for kind neighbors!) After I got inside, I STAYED inside!

75 inches of snow? emoticon That's an immobilizing storm! emoticon

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JOJOSZENT 2/1/2011 6:58AM

    I have felt the sliding of a car on icy roads as well, but I find the more tense you are the more dangerous it actually is. The reason behind that is you panic when you start to slide and tend to over correct, that's just my thought. Now when I drive in the snow and ice I just try to be calm.

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EAP1115 2/1/2011 6:56AM

  JOIN THE CLUB

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DAISY443 2/1/2011 6:51AM

    Wimp away! I'm right there with you! Really glad I don't have to go anywhere for the next day or so!

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CHRYS13 2/1/2011 6:50AM

    Best to be and stay safe! I'm heading-out again today and praying for a better commute! However, today I'm waiting until sunrise!
Take care, my friend!

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Monday update: training and the gadget

Monday, January 31, 2011

I've been wearing the gadget off & on for a whole week now. I have been determining my limits. I really can't wear it the 23 hours they wanted us to to "baseline" without risking a skin rash. But I can wear it during my workouts and my normal workday, as long as I take it off right away after the sweat-inducing workouts and clean it, sync it up, and not put it back on until I'm clean and dry myself.

What it measures to come up with its "calories out" are:
skin temperature
Heat flux (rate at which heat is dissipating from the body
Motion (3 axis accelerometer) is reflected in a step count.

When synced up, a web site displays calories burned per minute throughout the time you wore it. The same web site allows you to log your foods, but you can also enter an estimate of calories consumed (which, surprise, you get from your Spark nutrition tracker if you like that better). Then it tells you whether over the course of the week you are on a weight loss, weight gain, or maintenance trend.

IF you wear it overnight, it detects when you were truly asleep versus just lying down. That was interesting, indeed, for me. Since I found I really can't wear it overnight, I am glad it didn't reveal anything particularly surprising.

Bottom line: it really didn't tell me anything I didn't already know or was able to detect. In other words, when I'm having trouble sleeping, I already know that. It picks up on the times my dog wakes me to go out in the middle of the night, or I get up for a potty trip. It shows how long it took to fall back to sleep (not long most of the time)... and how long I really stayed asleep. As I said, while interesting, not essential.

As for the exercise detection? It separates "moderate" from "vigorous" based on various factors. And again, little surprise. Most of my activity is "moderate". I only get to "vigorous" when I'm walking in excess of 4.5 miles an hour (or jogging). Snow shoveling shows up as moderate. I kind of already knew this, too, based on heart rate monitor results.

So... if you're jealous of the gadget... don't be. You can be successful without it. The only really good thing it does is give me confidence that I am on track. That when I think I'm exercising a lot? I'm still OK with my calorie range. I don't need 500 more calories today!

Pre-training for the half marathon has continued, interrupted by my illness. I did about 4.5 miles on Saturday, and 5.8 on Sunday, including warm up and cool down both days. So, feeling good about that. This week, snow shoveling will be my cross training, if the forecast has anything to say about it.

Have a great Monday, all.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRISTURTLE 1/31/2011 6:41PM

    I too was going to suggest the cornstarch, SUNNYWBL, lol.
Wishing you luck with the half marathon, and with battling all that cold weather and snow! Very interesting update on the gadget, but I think I'll just keep on as I have been, hoping I can continue to raise my fitness while lowering the results on the scale. I have enough trouble trying to remember to put on my watch and take my phone with me, without another thing to worry about, lol.

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REJ7777 1/31/2011 5:36PM

    It's great to see that you're feeling better and back on track! emoticon

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SUNNYWBL 1/31/2011 5:35PM

    I wonder if a little cornstarch on your arm would protect against the rash?

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KALIGIRL 1/31/2011 1:07PM

    Thanks for the info on the new toy and
emoticon emoticonon your training!

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HOT4FITNESS 1/31/2011 8:52AM

    Thanks for the update on the gadget. And great job on staying on track for that half marathon. You can do it!!!

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SWELL10 1/31/2011 8:09AM

    Thanks for the great info. I've gone back and forth about wanting one. But since I've had the metabolism testing I'm not sure it will really give me any better info than I've already gotten. emoticon

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Last Sunday of the month... and that means...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Progress / maintenance pictures. I updated the front page to show the "year" of progress / maintenance, putting up one from the end of last January, and one from this morning. As we get closer and closer to where I reached my final "home range", you'll see less and less difference in actual weight, possibly still see some additional muscle definition.

BUT, one thing I promise I won't show you is the loose skin. Yeah, I have that issue. It's hidden under the clothing. I notice it when I take my waist and hip measurements... my skin is larger than the body underneath it. It's like a sweater that is too big for me. It's getting better as I walk/jog more, but I don't think it will ever go completely away.

I don't think I'll do anything surgically about it. There's a reason for that. You see, it's a reality of what I have done to myself over time (decades) with my obsession with food. It is a part of my history. I know that procedures exist to tighten things up, and every so often when I look at the sags, I ponder whether I would. Each time I have, I end up concluding that I need to wait until I've kept the weight off for five years, and seen how much an active lifestyle maintained helps the skin "do its own thing" as much as it can.

Even then, I suspect the only way I would undergo surgery is if a doctor told me it was medically advisable for some other reason. At the same time, I started coloring my hair again, after not doing so for about ten years. Who knows what the future holds?

What about the rest of my Spark friends? Are there reasons you might consider having excess skin removed? Does your age have anything to do with your opinion? Does your spouse - significant other - single status affect your thoughts?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 1/30/2011 9:13PM

    I've considered treating myself to a 'butt' lift for my 60th birthday (this December - 2 years) - KIDDING....

My mom had a facelift @ 50 (I thought she was gorgeous without it) as a reaction to my dad fooling around with a woman my age, so surgery is not high on my agenda.

I was fortunate to lose my 35 pounds very slowly, so other than having to wear long shorts (skin gathers above the knees both fore and aft) and having alligator skin (where did this come from?), I'm content.

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ANDI571 1/30/2011 7:34PM

    It's funny you blogged about this. I have been noticing how saggy my inner thighs are. I just hate it. That's the reason I bought a new swimsuit today. I bought the bottoms that look like shorts, so they go down past most of the saggy part. My daughter made the statement she didn't like the shorts, and I told her if I didn't get that type, I doubt that I would even put a swim suit on. The older I am getting the worse it is. And the part of my stomach above my belly button is more pooched than it used to be at this weight, and also saggy. I can see it in the swim suit top. I am hoping that a few more pounds down might help that. I just hung the suit on the door for me to see everyday. Hopefully it will inspire me to lose those last pounds.

I doubt that I would have surgery. I don't like pain, and the chance of complications. It is bad enough when you have to go for unelected surgery. But there again, it would be according to how bad it was, and how bad it was making me feel.



Comment edited on: 1/30/2011 7:35:01 PM

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AEHEGE 1/30/2011 3:02PM

    Congratulations on your weight loss! I can understand how you feel about the loose skin. I have this also, but am ten years older than you. At my age, I would not have the surgery. I just wish I had made the decision to stay at goal when I was younger with more elastic skin. (I've yo-yoed most of my adult life). Even at my age, though, the loose skin seems to tighten more as time goes on. I would support anyone who makes the decision to have it surgically removed, but would not opt of this myself. I just have to dress accordingly. The other benefits I have through losing weight are significant in themselves.

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SAMI199 1/30/2011 2:16PM

    I think I will...but there's plenty of time to worry about it.
You look great!

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PENNYAN45 1/30/2011 1:49PM

    I notice my skin started sagging as I lost the weight - particularly on my thighs. I also told myself that if I kept the weight off for a period of time - that I might find out what could be done about it.

Then again I might not.

At my age - I'm not sure it's necessary. I'll wait and see how it all looks when I reach my goal weight - and stay there for a while.

It's encouraging to read some of the comments talking about how the skin improves with time and exercise. We'll see if that happens.


I don't dye my hair, mainly because I like the color that it has become as the white took over the dirty blond. I would dye it if I didn't like how it looked.


What a good idea to take pictures at the end of each month -- so you have a photographic record of your change.

Congratulations on your great success!

And thanks for being such a leader and model for all of us!

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SLENDERELLA61 1/30/2011 12:21PM

    I've been at a healthy weight for almost 2 years now and within 10 pounds of where I am now (BMI 20.4) for over a year. I still see my skin tightening up. My batwings look toner. The wrinkle of skin under my belly button is half what it was a year ago. The inner thigh sags a bit, but less. The skin just above my belly button falls into an arrow pointing up! If I tuck skin into a tight bra under each armpit, the arrow disappears. That arrow may be more from pregnancy than from weight loss, I'm not sure. I have not been tempted to have surgery. If I was 25 years old and single I might. At age 61 I wear little that shows the skin. Well, I wear sleeveless shirts - we do live in Florida. I think I look good enough. I don't think my husband has noticed my extra skin, although he did insist I come to his high school reunion, so that was good. I have a bikini in my closet and someday I may actually wear it. We'll see.

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MNTWINSGAL 1/30/2011 10:55AM

    My problem area has always been my lower abdomen, even before I gained weight. I already have quite the "mom apron" and if I get down to goal weight (ahem, I mean WHEN I get down to goal weight) I may have a medical need for a tummy tuck, because I've heard that skin never really goes away with diet and exercise alone and can cause severe skin irritation underneath. Otherwise, no way.

You go girl! You are an inspiration to us all!

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JHADZHIA 1/30/2011 10:02AM

    Well done on your weight loss!! You look fantastic!!
I have loose skin, but I never been too concerned with my appearance as I don't wear make up, wear clothes that are comfortable, not fashionable (baggy sweat pants and T Shirt queen). I won't dye my hair when it goes all white, I will continue to get it cut short to a near brush cut because its easy to look after that way. For me the weight loss was about feeling good and getting fit.. Being single, having no social life and living alone means there is no reason to get artificially enhanced to society's standards..
Good luck with any choice you make. If you think it will make you feel better, than go for it!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/30/2011 9:32AM

    A few years ago I lost 95 pounds. I wanted to take off another 40, and told myself that if I reached that goal and was able to keep it off for two fulll years, I'd check out having my bat wings reduced. I never made that goal and heaven knows I didn't keep the 95 pounds off for two years. But I feel like you do -- it's who I am. I did this to myself and it's a reminder of that.

On another note. I stopped coloring my hair about a year ago. I've got the short cut now -- similar to Jamie Lee Curtis. I like it but . . . . A friend of mine posted a photo on FaceBook of some of us on a weekend getaway a couple years ago. I was thinner than I am now and had my hair colored. I looked so much younger and so much happier. Now I'm thinking about coloring again, though I hate having to go in every 4 weeks for a color. But then again, with the short hair, I go every 4 weeks for a trim, so what's the difference (other than cost)? Hmmm, I must think about this, think.

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DAMOTIVATION 1/30/2011 8:47AM

    Congrats on your success...you look buff! Great job.

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HOT4FITNESS 1/30/2011 8:34AM

    Who knows what the future holds for that loose skin. I think I heard somewhere a half marathon will tighten it right up. LOL!! You've done well, keep up the good work!

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DEBRITA01 1/30/2011 8:12AM

    Your 5-year benchmark seems reasonable...if it still bothers you at that time, go for it. You're beautiful though, whatever skin you're in...

Comment edited on: 1/30/2011 8:15:24 AM

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TCMOSBY 1/30/2011 7:51AM

    Congrats to you beautiful fo having lost so much weight! I am VERY proud of you! I LOVE seeing people happy. =) Yes, I would have any excess skin removed. I am still young, and it may still tighten up in time, but after 4 kids the skin is quite stretched. I gained excessive amounts of weight with each of my pregnancies- 60+ pounds. My last 3 girls were back to back and I didn't have time to lose more than 10 pounds before I got prego again...so I just got bigger and bigger. I figure I have all of these stretch marks (my war marks...lol) from having my babies...who needs the skin too? lol But then again...I should embrace my body. Eh! I am so indecisive! lol Anywho...Have a blessed Sunday and week gorgeous! HUGS!

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DAISY443 1/30/2011 7:42AM

    I've also notice that my skin is too big for me. I think it's gradually improving and, if I stay well hydrated, it is even better! I have learned to (pretty much) live with what I am given!

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